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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2017

Origins Available: English, Scottish



Multiple Origins for the Surname Willis


English


Willis is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Willis family lived in Berkshire. Their name is derived from the Old English word welle, meaning well, and indicates the original bearer's residence near such a facility.

Willis Early Origins



The surname Willis was first found in Berkshire where they held a family seat at Hungerford Park, a baronetcy granted by King Charles I. They are believed to be descended from Baron Welles, the Duke of Somerset, and the grandmother of Henry VII, a Norman Baron from Welles in Normandy who was granted Rockingham Castle but was beheaded. Not all of the family emigrated to England as Hugh and Robert de Wellis were listed in Normandy in 1198. Effric de Welles held the fief or Wellis, Normandy in 1180. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)

Johannes Willeson was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
and Walter filius Wille held lands in Dumfries in 1214. [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
Walter Willys was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1327 and Roger Wyllys was found in Kent in 1438. Years later, Richard Willys was listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1517. [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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Willis Spelling Variations


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Willis Spelling Variations



Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Willis, Wilis and others.

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Willis Early History


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Willis Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willis research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1279, 1214, 1576, 1656, 1590, 1645, 1642, 1643, 1621, 1675, 1614, 1690, 1664, 1734, 1614, 1701, 1659, 1660, 1665, 1666 and are included under the topic Early Willis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Willis Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Willis Early Notables (pre 1700)



Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Willis (1576-1656), a member of the English landed gentry and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery at the outbreak of the English Civil War, owing to which he suffered the loss of his position and some of his estates; George Wyllys or...

Another 127 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Willis In Ireland


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Willis In Ireland



Some of the Willis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Willis or a variant listed above:

Willis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Anne Willis, who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Ann Willis, who arrived in Virginia in 1620
  • Ann Willis, who landed in Virginia in 1620 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Nathaniel Willis, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630
  • Nathaniel Willis, who settled in Boston in 1630
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Willis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jacob Willis, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1702 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Matthew Willis, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Ellioner Willis, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Pheebe Willis, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)

Willis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mary Ann Willis, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Margaret Willis, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • James Willis, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Eleanor Willis, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Ellen Willis, aged 18, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1820-1873 [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Willis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • William Willis, who settled in Quidividi, Newfoundland, in 1703 [6]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  • John Willis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Penolope Willis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Josiah Willis, who settled in Kiers Cove, Labrador, in 1766

Willis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Isaac Willis, who arrived in Canada in 1834

Willis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • George Willis, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Adamant voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1821 with 144 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adamant/1821
  • Thomas Willis, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  • George Willis, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [9]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Buckinghamshire 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  • Elizabeth Rebecca Willis, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [9]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  • Frances Willis, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [9]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Willis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Richard Willis, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • Thomas Willis, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wyvern" in 1856
  • Thomas Willis, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • A. Willis, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
  • Robert Willis, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Willis (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Willis (post 1700)



  • Robert "Chick" Willis (1934-2013), American blues singer and guitarist
  • Pharmacist's Mate First Class John Harlan Willis (1921-1945), American Navy sailor awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Harold "Chuck" Willis (1928-1958), American blues, rhythm and blues, and rock singer and songwriter
  • Elizabeth Willis (b. 1961), American poet, a literary critic and a professor of literature and creative writing
  • Walter Bruce Willis (b. 1955), American two-time Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe Award-winning and four-time Saturn Award-nominated actor and film producer perhaps best known for his "Die Hard" series of movies
  • Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis (b. 1945), American science fiction writer with ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards [10]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Constance Willis. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Constance Willis. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connie_Willis
  • Norman David Willis (b. 1933), English trade union leader
  • Henry Willis (1821-1901), English organ builder who built or restored many of the Cathedral organs of Britain
  • Hal Willis (1933-2015), born Leonald Francis Gauthier, Canadian country singer from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, bets known for his single "The Lumberjack," an international hit that sold over 1.5 million copies, inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010
  • Major Richard Raymond Willis VC (1876-1966), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Willis Historic Events


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Willis Historic Events




Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. George Oswald Willis, British Smokeroom Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914 [11]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Percy John Christian Willis (1900-1941), Australian Plumber 1st Class from St. Peters, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking [12]CITATION[CLOSE]
    HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  • Mr. Lloyd Martin Willis (1922-1941), Australian Cook from Five Dock, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking [12]CITATION[CLOSE]
    HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  • Mr. George Boyd Willis (1908-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Naremburn, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking [12]CITATION[CLOSE]
    HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  • Mr. Ronald Verdun Willis (1916-1941), Australian Steward from Manly, Queensland, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking [12]CITATION[CLOSE]
    HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Herbert Willis (b. 1922), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Mortenhempstead, Devon, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking [13]CITATION[CLOSE]
    H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  • Mr. Albert T Willis (b. 1919), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking [13]CITATION[CLOSE]
    H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. William E Willis, British Stoker, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]CITATION[CLOSE]
    HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. William Willis (d. 1912), aged 66, English Third Class Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [15]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html

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Suggested Readings for the name Willis


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Suggested Readings for the name Willis



  • The Family History of Nathaniel Purdue Willis of Eason, Oklahoma Territory by Kathryn S. Carter.
  • Some Willis Families of New England by Aurie Willis Morrison.

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Willis Family Crest Products


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Willis Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Adamant voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1821 with 144 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adamant/1821
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  10. ^ Constance Willis. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Constance Willis. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connie_Willis
  11. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  12. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  13. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html

Other References

  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Willis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Willis Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 November 2017 at 14:08.

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